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Good and Bad PR: Eco-warrior Wagamama

Good PR
Asian restaurant chain Wagamama has generated some positive media coverage this week for something that won’t actually be coming into effect until 22 April 2018, which is also Earth Day. To mark the occasion, Wagamama has announced that it will stop using plastic straws in its restaurants and will instead switch to paper, biodegradable straws which will be available on request.

Until then, visitors to the restaurants won’t automatically be given plastic straws and will have to ask if they decide that they want one (or if they have a beverage that needs stirring).

With the impact of plastics on the environment being such a hot topic at the moment, and straws in particular being a focal point of this conversation, this is a really positive move by Wagamama.

It has earned the chain coverage on the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, The Sun and other media titles.

Some questioned whether the company was doing enough, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Bad PR  
Takeaway app Just Eat was dragged through the mud this week, after a delivery driver from one of the establishments people could order food from went rogue.

Michelle Midwinter, a mum-of-one from Gloucestershire, ordered a takeaway through the app and later received an uninvited text message from the driver who had delivered her food. The messages were creepy, with the driver describing himself as “a fan” of Ms. Midwinter’s, followed by the winky, sticky out tongue emoji. *Shudders*

Michelle took to Twitter to share what had happened, alongside a snapshot of the conversation she’d later had with Just Eat, where they offered her a £5 voucher and then a £10 voucher, which understandably didn’t go down too well:

Although Just Eat only acts as an intermediary for the app user and the takeaway, the response that Michelle received seemed to fall short. When you know that a rather creepy delivery driver has your address and your phone number (and has clearly taken a liking to you), that’s going to make someone feel pretty uncomfortable in their own home. I would’ve wanted to hear that Just Eat was looking into it and maybe contacting the takeaway to explain what had happened, so that perhaps some disciplinary action against the driver was being taken, not that there wasn’t even a complaints department.

Annoyingly, I couldn’t find the name of the takeaway in question anywhere, so this has been a lucky escape for it reputation-wise.

The story ended up being covered by national and regional media, with Michelle calling for a change to privacy laws, after loads of other people (women in particular) shared similar stories online of things that had happened to them with regards to the behaviour of delivery drivers.

Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis @ShazzaYeti on Twitter
Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or on email

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